Brown backed by owner, stared down by Kobe
by Scott M Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
As we’re learning this NBA season, expectations are far different than results.
Expectations were so high for the Lakers after landing Steve Nash and Dwight Howard in the offseason to mesh with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. There was even talk of it being the second coming of the Magic Johnson-led Lakers from the 1980s in Los Angeles. Everything looked good on paper.
It’s been anything but Showtime early on.
The Lakers are off to a disastrous start with their new superstar lineup, dropping to 1-4 after a loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. This came after starting the season 0-3 and going winless in the preseason.
We’ve heard players react to the unexpected start, highlighted by Bryant’s “shut up” message to critics.
If records and quotes aren’t enough to show the frustration the team is experiencing, maybe this angry Kobe stare at coach Mike Brown paints a clearer picture.
Is Brown on the hot seat? From the perspective of Lakers fans, duh. Erik Spoelstra didn’t got off the hot seat until the Heat finally won an NBA title last summer. It’s impossible to coach a superstar-laden team, have a shaky start, and not get that type of criticism.
We’ve seen this type of bad start before when the Miami Heat revamped its entire roster to make room for LeBron James and Chris Bosh. It took a while for the Heat to get going and find chemistry before going on to make the Finals in 2011 and then win a championship in 2012.
That’s a tough comparison, though. Bryant and Nash are not in their prime by any stretch of the imagination. And who knows how healthy Howard will be this season.
Despite the early-season woes, Lakers owner Jim Buss told ESPNLosAngeles.com he’s backing Brown through this struggling time.
“You don’t start 0-3 for the first time since we’ve owned the franchise without being on top of it,” Buss said. “No matter what, you have to be aware. That doesn’t mean change is coming. That just means you have to be aware.
“I have no problems with Mike Brown at … [For more on Mike Brown backed by owner, stared down by Kobe, click here.]